Chugging Onwards

Friday, July 11, 2008

Sorry about not posting recently -- I've been walking, but I've also been watching the Tour de France and I'm somewhat sleep-deprived because of the little black and white bastard, so I'm shamefully behind in all of my blogs.

However, as of this morning I officially scored a 10 pound loss since all of this started. Yes, true, this has been going on for, what, four months now, but I also feel really good because while the weight loss is slow, it's not bouncing up and down on a weekly basis. For me in this particular situation, slow is good.

The new walking shoes have really helped -- walking with them is a pleasure, and my heel only starts hurting when I switch back to my dress shoes and have to go walking for any distance. Now I just need to start hauling my still-large butt to the gym so that I can lift weights on a regular basis, because a muscled Melanie is a happy Melanie.

I've also tried something for the last month, not so much for weight loss but to counteract the constant exhaustion and aching joints I've had for the first part of the year. There's a supplement called SAM-e that is a synthetic form of a compound formed naturally in the body from the essential amino acid methionine and adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the energy-producing compound found in all cells in the body. SAMe is believed to work by being a methyl group donor in many reactions in the body. After donating the methyl group, it is converted to a compound called S-adenosyl-homocysteine.

People use SAMe for a variety of reasons -- osteoarthritis (SAM-e appears to diminish osteoarthritis pain as effectively as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication), depression (it has been hypothesized that SAMe increases the availaibility of neurotransmitter serotonin and dopamine), and liver disease (preliminary research suggests it may help to normalize liver enzyme levels and help with cholestasis). I read about it in a fitness magazine and thought, "well, I don't have liver problems but osteoarthritis pain and depression -- oh, yeah."

So I started taking a 400 mg pill every day about a month ago, and I do believe there's been a marked improvement in both my knees and my mood. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties I also haven't been retaining water like a camel, which is frigging marvelous. There are side effects -- it can produce manic behavior and cause insomnia -- which is why you're supposed to taper off to a 200 mg pill every other day once you've recharged your ATP levels. Since I have thyroid issues anyway and haven't noticed any manic behavior (insomnia, yes, but I've always had problems with that and the recent insomnia has been prompted by a small black and white feline from the inner circle of Hell), I'm continuing with the daily 400 mg pill for at least the next few weeks. I'll let you know how it goes.


Walt said...

Where does one find SAMe and what does something like that cost, out of sheer curiosity.

Melanie said...

Any drugstore should carry it -- I got mine at CVS, and I've seen it at Walgreen's and in the pharmacy section at Kroger's. The price depends on the strength -- my CVS package cost $40 for 40 doses of 400 mg, and you take a dose a day.